From Chronic Pain to Powerful – Shelly Gains Strength for Grandkids, Renews Health

Shelly Devries grew up on a farm, she learned the value of hard work early on sweating in the field each day after school. Despite her dedication, she always felt a sense of physical pain and limitation, attributing it to a lack of coordination and “bad feet.” However, as she matured, she discovered the source of her discomfort was her hips.

Shelly was left searching for relief from a mounting list of pain and injuries.

“First it started out with the neck, I had the tight traps and lats,” she said. “Those get worse when you have a lower body injury because you are trying to compensate and all of a sudden I’m getting really serious neck issues that I couldn’t manage anymore.”

Her battle has led her through various gyms and workout programs, but despite her unwavering determination to find solace in fitness, each attempt left her disappointed. Shelly’s frustration grew as she navigated through different routines and exercises, hoping for a reprieve that seemed elusive.

“I had tried stuff all my life, but I was always so stiff, and I couldn’t keep up with others,” Shelly recalled. “I always thought I had foot issues, but it was more the hips that were holding me back. When I first started strength training I had blood pressure issues, cholesterol was going up, my blood sugar was starting to go up, back in 2018 and I felt like I had to get my health under control, but I kept injuring myself.”


After so many stops along the way with little success, Shelly found PowerStrength at the recommendation of her Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapist.

“I checked out a few different places,” Shelly remembered. “Once I came to PowerStrength it was just a no-brainer because one of the places I checked out was a lot of quick movement and I just couldn’t do that with my hip issues.”

Just as she found PowerStrength, another roadblock presented itself. Adults 40 and over, of all abilities and fitness levels, get started with a free consultation with a PSTS expert. By the time that Shelly came into the Jenison location to see General Manager Derek Ehnis, she knew that she would need hip surgery. However, the operation Shelly needed was not available to everyone, so she went to work at PowerStrength to make sure she would be selected for the procedure.

“She said I’ve got this issue, I’ve got this issue,” Ehnis said. “I said let’s just try some private training and see how you’re doing. We were able to meet here where she was at, she had some upcoming surgery that she disclosed when she got here, but we were still able to train other muscle groups in the upper body, core strength, some lower body activities as well and then focus on that hip and make sure that she was able to get into surgery successfully.”

“To be a candidate for the labral repair you had to be active,” Shelly said. “The fact that I had started the strength training program made me a candidate, even being older can disqualify you from labral repair, that was a huge piece right there.”


After the surgery came more important steps in Shelly’s journey. She needed to rest, recover, and rehabilitate. That meant some time off, physical therapy, a return to PowerStrength in a limited capacity, and eventually the ability to join the small group atmosphere that PSTS offers.

“I had to take some time off and then I worked with (Derek) one-on-one until I got to the point where he felt I was comfortable working with the trainers again, and I’ve been here ever since, Shelly said.

The coaches at PowerStrength communicate and work closely with physical therapists. Derek was able to do that for Shelly as they constructed a plan not just to rehabilitate her, but get her feeling better than ever.

“One of the things that was recommended was that you continue to train,” Ehnis said. “It helps with your recovery from the surgery and the physical therapist actually gave her some exercises that I was able to look at and implement in our own training and work in conjunction with that therapist.”

As Shelly aims to regain mobility and strength not just in her hips, but throughout her entire body, her every need is being met at PowerStrength. Whether it is one-on-one with Derek or in a small group session, Shelly is receiving personalized attention. Here, she isn’t just another face in the crowd; everybody knows her by name, and the coaches are intimately acquainted with her fitness goals and limitations. She is able to embark on each session with confidence knowing that the coaches at PowerStrength are invested in her progress and well-being.

“They individualize it.” Shelly said. “I’m the split squats queen because Derek says that is what I need to do to get those flexors loosened up, because my flexors are always tight. We do a lot of that type stuff, building the glutes, and when you walk in the door they all know your name which is nice too.”

Shelly has found invaluable support at PowerStrength. Her physical therapist prescribed at home exercises for her to perform and she is able to be meticulously critiqued at PSTS, ensuring her ability to enhance strength and mobility. Moreover, PowerStrength takes proactive measures to coordinate with her physical therapist, ensuring alignment between her home exercises and gym routine for optimal health outcomes.

“In the one-on-one with Derek, I have some new physical therapy exercises and I’ll ask him to look at my form and see if I’m doing them right,” Shelly said. “I’m going to physical therapy every other week, in between that, I get home and I’m not sure how to do these exercises. He can reinforce some of that and sometimes he will add a little bit to put a slant on there too. When I first saw him, he knew my physical therapist so he reached out to her to see what needed to be worked on and they kind of communicated together which made me feel safe.”


Shelly is experiencing notable improvements in her health. Nearly a year and a half of consistency at PowerStrength is paying off for her. Shelly is maintaining muscle and her cholesterol has gone down.

“Last time I checked it had dropped 20 points since strength training,” she said. “My A1C is in the normal range for diabetes, and I’m not losing muscle. As you get older you start to see your muscle mass decrease and I’m maintaining which is good.” 

“I found out strength training isn’t just about building muscle, it is about activating the right muscles for you and that is why PowerStrength has been a big asset for me,” Shelly said.

“She’s made a ton of progress,” Ehnis said. “She took a little bit of time off for that surgery and then we picked up right where she left off when she got back in, she was a little bit slower but she’s progressed now to where she has the most muscle she’s ever had, she is living a really healthy lifestyle, she’s moving every single day whether it’s here or at home so she is right where she needs to be.”

Shelly’s dedication and consistency have been nothing short of remarkable. Her relentless determination to show up and put in the work has been the cornerstone of her success, proving that consistent effort yields extraordinary results.

“We keep moving that needle with the goal-setting,” Ehnis said. “She accomplishes and then we are setting new goals, she is very focused on showing up because you can’t improve if you don’t show up. She does a great job of just showing up, for the last year and a half, she has never missed.”

Shelly finds immense satisfaction in being a part of the 40 and over adult fitness program at PowerStrength, where she prioritizes both her physical and mental well-being. Tired of grappling with injuries and persistent pain, she sees her workouts as a proactive step towards reclaiming control over her health.

Through the supportive environment of PowerStrength, Shelly not only strengthens her body but also nurtures her mental resilience, finding renewed vitality and joy in each session. Embracing this holistic approach to fitness, she embraces the opportunity to thrive and flourish, regardless of age.

“I try to get here 3 times (sessions) a week,” Shelly said, “the community and mental health part of it is huge too, because I think when you are dealing with an injury and chronic pain you need people to keep you moving forward, or at least not backward.”

Shelly is a nurse who has worked from home for almost 4 years. Her occupation doesn’t lend itself to much exercise throughout the day. That’s another reason that coming to PowerStrength has been so valuable for her.

“You don’t see people unhappy at the gym typically, you just get that endorphin, it is just good for your mental health to move,” Shelly said. “A lot of us do the type of work where we don’t get a lot of movement at work, and even kids nowadays don’t get as much movement unless they are in sports. You have to make yourself, you have to plan it in your day.”

While rehabilitating from surgery, being physically and mentally healthy are all significant benefits that Shelly has experienced through PowerStrength, one she values as much, if not more, is her ability to enjoy her four grandkids that range in age from 3 months to 5 years old. That is something that she has in common with many in her small group sessions.

“A lot of us are grandmas and we just want to be strong to be around our grandkids,” Shelly said. “Even before my hip surgery the SI joint went out, so I just couldn’t do a whole lot with the grandkids and you are uncomfortable so your life revolves around managing pain, and I’m finally to a point where pain is not (controlling her life). It’s amazing, I never realized with little kids how they naturally do what we should be doing.”


Men and Women over 40 seeking a stronger, more energized lifestyle can join the personal training programs at PowerStrength. No previous workout experience is required as each program is customized to the fitness and ability level of each individual.

Multiple small group and private sessions are offered in the early morning, mid-morning, late afternoon, and evening.

Click HERE to learn more program details and schedule your risk-free consultation.